Day 47: Saturday, July 17th, 2021

After dealing with a migraine in the middle of the night, I worked it out by morning and was finally relaxed to enjoy some much needed work that I had to get done.  I had planned this adventure to a point and then just sort of stopped. Maybe exhaustion, maybe I got busy, but it still needs to be planned and Idaho was on the list first. So I researched for a couple of hours, booked my points of interests, 2 hotels in total with one stay for 5 days and one for 2.  It’s right before I go camping in Yellowstone, so I wanted to book something nice before I don’t have a real bathroom, shower, or bed for a week. Yay, camping is going to be so much fun! LOL

The only thing I had on the roster today was the “Lewis and Clark Riverboat” tour.  Now, online, it sounded amazing. Brunch with a ride down the Missouri river…sounded peaceful. I had in my head my days of standing on the Liberty Belle at the Magic Kingdom, feeling the wind on my skin, the sunshine on my face.  Listening to the narration as we meander down the River… while an occasional text came in and I would chat with my close ones.  Not today.

Lewis and Clark Riverboat Bismarck ND

I checked in the white trailer…yes, you heard me.  The gal checked me in and couldn’t be less enthused if she tried.  There was no clear area to park my car, so where I wound up parking I just said a prayer and hoped I would see Ellie again after the boat ride.  There was a long line started, well before 11 a.m. The voyage didn’t shove off until 11:30, so there we all were, standing in the hot sun, it was like being back at Disney! LOL

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I was expecting a real Riverboat, and basically it was a souped up pontoon boat. My ticket was $33, not cheap, so I am expecting this grand ship and I saw this.  Not ugly, just small, and no room for anyone to roam around, so I basically stayed in the same spot the entire time.

Lewis and Clark Riverboat Bismarck ND

Everybody wanted the open top floor, and even though I wanted the “wind on my face” I also saw how freaking windy it was!  I pictured me trying to eat my food while Walter flew off one way, and my paper plate the other. Yes, paper plates and plastic utensils. The one thing they could make VERY nice was real dishes and silverware. We all know the feeling of eating somewhere with real plates and then plastic… it’s fine dining vs a barbeque.  Yet the tables had linen tablecloths… I understand if this was a measure taken because of the Pandemic (the plastic) but it just made everything feel cheap.  

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I wound up choosing the corner in the buffet area, thinking “at least Ill be close to the food.” I faced out the windows so I could just enjoy the view, Walter never even came out for pics. The engine was SO LOUD underneath me that I couldn’t hear ANY of the narration they were playing over the speakers, and I had one OVER my head!

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The food? Well their version of “brunch” was eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, donuts, and fresh fruit. Sounds good right? Well it was a “Come get it” buffet style.  So if you were on the top deck, you got crumbs. The first floor ate, and then the second, and they decided it was a good idea to have the buffet AND its line of people in the same area as everyone eating on the first floor. So as I ate I had people constantly bumping my table, not paying attention, and I just stared at my phone trying not to react.

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The tour was from 11:30 to 1:00 p.m. and honestly it was too long. Nope, I wasn’t drinking, may have been more fun as a booze cruise. They weren’t clear about drinks at ALL- no one came around to let you know that you HAD TO PURCHASE WATER. Yes, not even water was included in the $33 price tag. You would have to go and buy drinks at the bar, any kind, even for your meal. I thought it was a really cheap move – include water.

Lewis and Clark Riverboat Bismarck ND

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Worth it? Well you should know what I am going to say- no. It was too crowded, not enough room to roam, not everyone could enjoy an open air environment, the food was lackluster, the lower level was incredibly loud, and nothing was explained once you boarded. Skip it, go to the Dakota Zoo or the Enchanted Highway. See you tomorrow, my last day in North Dakota!

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